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The Fatal Hour

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The Fatal Hour

Published 1940

From IMDb: When Captain Street's best friend Dan O'Grady is murdered, Street enlists the help of Chinese detective James Lee Wong. Mr. Wong uncovers a smuggling ring on the waterfront of San Francisco and unmasks the killer, though not until several more murders occur.

Stars: Boris Karloff, Grant Withers and Marjorie Reynolds

This movie can also be found at The Internet Archive here.

The Mr. Wong series of films

Mr. Wong, Detective
The Mystery of Mr. Wong
Mr. Wong in Chinatown
The Fatal Hour
Doomed to Die
Phantom of Chinatown

Run time 67 minutes
Production Company Monogram Pictures Corporation
Audio/Visual Mono, Black & White
Language English


Reviewer: katperrr - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 9, 2014
Subject: Fatal Hour
It was a great Wong movie with the exception of the constantly screaming police detective.
Reviewer: WINSTON SMITH3353 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 13, 2013
Subject: This is the most Complete Version
This is the most complete version of this film posted so far on IA. Supposedly, the film opens at the waterfront Club Neptune where Detective Dan Grady, disguised as a longshoreman and who later comes up missing, is investigating a smuggling operation. That scene is missing from this particular print.

This a good print with excellent sound. Excellent shots of 1939 San Francisco. Karloff plays a great Wong and Marjorie Reynolds (as Bobbie Logan) is cute as a button as a girl reporter. Withers (as Detective Captian Bill Street) does the 1930s hard boiled detective routine well.

Capt. Bill Street: I'll see you later.
Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan: Not me, flatfoot. Get one of the nurses out of the receiving hospital. They don't mind a pain in the neck.

The dialogue is in fine Dashiell Hammett tradition, all the acting was top notch, and the story line will keep you glued to the screen. 5 stars.

Boris Karloff - James Lee Wong
Grant Withers - Capt. Bill Street
Marjorie Reynolds - Roberta 'Bobbie' Logan
Charles Trowbridge - John T. Forbes
Frank Puglia - Harry 'Hardway' Lockett
Craig Reynolds - Frank Belden, Jr.
Lita Chevret - Tanya Serova
Harry Strang - Det. Ballard
Hooper Atchley - Frank Belden Sr.
Jason Robards Sr. - Griswold (as Jason Robards)
Richard Loo - Jeweler
Jack Kennedy - Mike, Police Sergeant

Marjorie Reynolds, film and television actress:

"Bright, vivacious Marjorie Reynolds (née Marjorie Goodspeed) was born in Buhl, Idaho on August 12, 1917 to a doctor and homemaker, and raised in Los Angeles. Making her film debut at age 6, she "retired" after only a few years in favor of a normal education. She returned in the mid-30s, as a teenager this time, and began the typical assembly-line route of extra and bit roles for various mega studios, this time billed as Marjorie Moore.

Her first speaking role was in Columbia Studio's programmer Murder in Greenwich Village (1937), this time billed as Marjorie Reynolds (her first husband's last name), a moniker she kept for the duration of her career. The blonde (originally brunette) actress then went through a rather unchallenging prairie flower phase opposite Hollywood's top western stars such as Tex Ritter, Buck Jones, Roy Rogers and Tim Holt. It all paid off, however, when she won the top female role opposite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the seasonal film classic Holiday Inn (1942), a role originally designed for Mary Martin. It remains Marjorie's most popular and cherished role on film, but it did not help her make a permanent transition into 'A' quality fare.

She continued as a dependable "B" co-lead in such films as Up in Mabel's Room (1944), Meet Me on Broadway (1946), and Heaven Only Knows (1947), with an exciting movie offer such as Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944) coming her way on a rare occasion.

Along with maturity and a new entertainment medium (television) in the 50s came a return to her natural hair color. As William Bendix's patient, resourceful brunette wife on the comedy TV series "The Life of Riley" (1953), Marjorie became a semi-household name. Her career took a steep decline following its demise five years later and she was only sporadically seen in films, commercials and TV guest spots after that.

Married twice, her first husband was Jack Reynolds, who was an Assistant Casting Director for Samuel Goldwyn. They had one daughter, Linda, before divorcing in 1952 after 16 years. Second husband, film editor John Whitney, worked for a time in the 40s as an actor. They were married for 32 years until his death in 1985.

Long retired, Marjorie died on 1 February 1997 in Manhattan Beach, California of congestive heart failure after collapsing while walking her dog. Though she didn't fully live up to her potential as a serious, formidable actress, her gentle charm and obvious beauty certainly spruced up the 60+ films in which she appeared." ~IMDB Mini Bio.
Reviewer: flickfdude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 12, 2009
Subject: Boris Karlof
Another Wong Mystery.
quite enjoyable.
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